Council members Michelle Cooper Kelly and Anthony Coleman have been asking for bathrooms in city parks for months.
Lewis Park, Merritt Park, Whitaker Park, Victory Park and Henry Park will all have permanent restrooms installed. Money from the 2009 parks bond issuance will pay to build them.
“I think it looks good,” Kelly said, after seeing photos of the proposed restrooms made of granite and concrete.
Each $40,000 bathroom includes a single toilet, urinal and sink. They will be secured with steel doors with electronic locks on timers that shut when the parks close at 10 p.m., said Rich Deckman, the parks bond project manager.
“This is what we were looking for,” Kelly said.
The journey to find the perfect restroom for the parks has been long and highly discussed. The City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee has seen three presentations of different bathrooms previously turned down for various reasons.
Kelly wanted to make sure the bathrooms were able to be locked at night and easy to clean.
Coleman wanted to make sure all city parks in need of restrooms were going to get them. At the July 30 meeting, he asked Buss to include Victory Park.
Four Marietta parks already have permanent restrooms, while the others have portable toilets, Buss said.
“Laurel Park, Tumlin Park, Custer Park, Aviation Sports Complex have fully plumbed restrooms,” Buss said.
The council agreed while looking at photos of the proposed restrooms that the bathrooms already in place at Tumlin Park are ideal.
“We’re spoiled, looking at (photos of the bathrooms in Tumlin Park),” Kelly said, referring to the park named after Mayor Steve Tumlin’s late parents.
Tumlin said he liked the look of the proposed restrooms, but laughed at Kelly’s suggestion.
“I just think it’s funny that I’m the example for bathrooms,” Tumlin said.
The plan for new bathrooms has been under review since May, and Buss said it is one step away from being complete.
The bathrooms have blue metal roofs, and Kelly suggested making the exteriors look fancier.
“I think there needs to be a little more there,” Kelly said about the roof.
The rest of the council agreed with Kelly and asked Buss and Deckman to add an “M” to represent the city on the outside above the door.
“We’re designing the outside a little more,” Deckman said. “The roof will look sort of like a canopy.”
Each bathroom will be delivered to its park already constructed, Deckman said. Once ordered, a bathroom takes 8 weeks to build, Deckman said. Once the city passes the resolution to build the new restrooms, which is expected this week, it will take 2 months for the restrooms to be ready to use.
Meanwhile, the city will need to find a company to create an underground path for utility lines to reach the facilities.
“There are various costs associated with installing each (bathroom), and those are related to the distance from lines to sewer and other utilities, such as power and water,” Buss said.
The extra costs to bury water and power lines for each bathroom vary from $10,000 for Lewis Park to $35,000 for Merritt Park.
The city will employ a custodial company to clean the restrooms, and it is estimated to cost $1,800 per month to clean four restrooms. Buss said the department will decide how often to clean the restrooms after seeing how much they are used.